About The Society
The E A Bowles of Myddelton House Society is a charitable society set up to further interest in the life and work of plantsman E A Bowles and the conservation of his garden at Myddelton House, Enfield. The Society meets at Myddelton House four times a year with a lecture in spring and autumn, the AGM in April and a Members' Event during the summer. In recent years we have also had organised trips to Wisley to see the Bowles corner and to the RHS Lindley Library to see a selection of Bowles' paintings which are held there. A number of Society members are regular garden volunteers.
Edward Augustus Bowles (1865-1954) lived and gardened at Myddelton House in Enfield. He was an accomplished artist, entomologist, botanist, an entertaining and knowledgeable writer who travelled widely with many eminent plant hunters of the day. First and foremost his interest was in plants and he leaves many cultivars as his legacy. Crocuses were one of his many passions and in recognition of this the Society holds the National Collection of Crocus cultivars including all those bred by him and still known to be in existence.
Myddelton House garden is owned by the Lee Valley and the Society works closely with the Authority to support the garden with members sitting on the Garden Advisory Group. The Society gives practical support with garden volunteers and financial support to projects in the garden.
In 2004, to mark the 50th anniversary of E A Bowles death, the Society embarked on a major fundraising drive to establish a biennial student award to commemorate his lifelong interest and contribution to education. The award is administrated by the RHS and so far have included support for studies into the genus Lathyrus, bulbous plants of Turkey and of South Africa, and investigations into the relationships between cultivars of Crocus chrysanthus and bifloris. Copies of the reports can be seen in our archive.
In 2011 the Society established an annual scholarship available to trainee gardeners at Myddelton House gardens.
In January 2009 the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) made a grant of £487,500 to Myddelton House Gardens for restoration of the kitchen garden and development of a new Visitor Centre. The E A Bowles of Myddelton House Society was asked to be the Supporting Partner in the application and was heavily involved in implementation of the project. Key input was provided over many months; in particular to the Zone information boards situated around the gardens and those in the new Visitor Centre which opened in 2011.
The Society maintains an archive of letters, papers and artefacts related to E A Bowles and Society members are involved with archiving the E A Bowles correspondence held at the Natural History Museum and RHS Lindley Library.